As the name suggests, The Botanist prides itself on entertaining your palate with plant-based ingredients. The classy venue has a mix of customers from couples enjoying a romantic night out, to groups of friends catching up over a cocktail. A selection of eating areas, a high-end bar and an orangery provide plenty of options to choose from whether you’re popping in for a drink or staying for a meal.
In addition to top-notch drinks and meal options, The Botanist also offers an interesting selection of nibbles to enjoy with a post-work tipple including, Cumberland and Pork Chipolatas and sharing boards that include tasty dishes such as Lamb Meatballs and Smoky Beans Hot Pots.
The extensive food menu features mouth-watering barbecue favourites such as Flattened Rump, 10oz sirloins and a variety of different chargrilled burgers, plus hanging kebabs and rotisserie chicken. The Home Comfort range offers Flat Iron Steak Sandwiches and Malaysian Curry, or for something even more comforting, why not goes for one of their scrumptious short-crust pastry pies including Butternut Squash, Goats Cheese and Mushroom or Steak and Ale – the perfect option when winter nights draw closer.
For those seeking a healthier option, The Botanist’s salad selection is very colourful and includes Prosciutto, Watermelon and Feta, Tenderstem Broccoli, Beetroot and Avocado, as well as the popular Caesar or Crispy Salt and Pepper Beef.
I began my lunch at The Botanist with one of their nibbles, Salt and Pepper Onion Petals (£3.95), which were dusted in a mix of ginger and Chinese five spices and served with soured cream. Thankfully, they were nice and crunchy and not overly oily.
For my main I enjoyed a dish from The Botanist’s Home Comforts range – the Prawn and Chicken Gumbo with Bacon, Rice and Peas served with coriander seasoned rice (£12.50), which was amazing. The chilli provided just the right amount of heat and the generous portion of prawns and chicken were moist and cooked to perfection.
To finish, I tried the Baked Camembert with Smoky Bacon and Crispy Onion Crust (£6.95). The apple slices provided a nice sweet contrast to the cheese and the bacon topping added a lovely crunch.
The Botanist has a wide range of eccentric cocktails. To kick things off, I started with their signature cocktail of Ketel One vodka, rum and elderflower liqueur. Its fresh ingredients and jasmine syrup offered a simple and balanced flavour profile, making it very drinkable!
Next up, I tried the Pear and Kiwi Cup from their Pots and Planters range, which was presented in a teapot with tendrils of fog! The dainty cocktail featured kiwi, lime and apple juice shaken with Licor 43, pear cognac, green apple liqueur and a splash of green tea and served with dry ice. Science it seems is not confined to a laboratory. It was well balanced, if slightly on the sweeter side for my personal taste, but they certainly achieved their desired outcome - to reconstruct botany through cocktails. Bravo!
We love The Botanist’s maverick attitude and how they encourage guests to try new things. Every mouthful and sip had wow factor in abundance.
Be it a dry ice or chlorophyll cocktail, or one of their wintery-inspired main courses and puddings, it’s hard to compete with their elaborate food and drink offerings. Hats off… we applaud you!
Our experience overall
Food and drink: ★★★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★★
*During my visit I was hosted by The Botanist. All views and opinions are my own. Prices and menu options correct at time of review.